Political turmoil among Lebanese Christians as votes are counted

Arab Monitor, Italy
Aug 5 2007

Political turmoil among Lebanese Christians as votes are being

Beirut, 5 August – As votes are still being counted in the two
Lebanese polling districts affected by today’s by-elections,
unofficial results are giving Mohammad al-Amin Itani a victory in
Beirut’s so-called second district. Mohammad al-Amin Itani represents
the Future Movement, set up and sustained by the Hariri family, while
his contender, Ibrahim Halabi, represents the People’s Movement. All
in all, in Beirut’s second district, where voting regarded the
replacement of murdered Future Movement deputy Walid Eido,
participation at the electoral polls was extremely low, estimated at
about 25 percent and the outcome was expected, given the uncontested
dominance of the Hariri family and their economic ressources in the
Sunni quarters of Beirut. The real political battle however, took
place in the Metn, in the mountainous region northeast of the
capital, where voter turnout reached 80 percent and the electoral
results will decide not only over who will replace the assassinated
exponent of the Lebanese Phalange, Pierre Gemayyel, but over who will
be considered the future representant of the Lebanese Maronites. As
it became evident in the course of the afternoon that Camille Khoury,
the candidate of the Free Patriotic Movement was likely to win the
race, the Gemayyel family denounced alleged electoral frauds having
been committed by the Armenian Tashnag Party in favour of Khoury.
These claims were immediately countered by MP Michel Aoun, head of
the Free Patriotic Movement, who denounced attempts to tamper with
ballot boxes at one of the polling stations. Ahead of the official
assessments of polling results, Amin Gemayyel, former Lebanese
President and head of the Gemayyel dynasty, already announced his
party would contest the eventual victory of Camille Khoury through
the judicial authorities. What is at stake, is not so much the
parliamentary seat of late Pierre Gemayyel, but the Presidency of
Lebanon, since both Amin Gemayyel and Michel Aoun are possible
candidates for the replacement of President Emile Lahoud, whose term
expires in September. Interior minister Hassan Sabaa said he would
hold a news conference to announce the official results, either late
Sunday or early Monday, when all votes had been counted.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS